Rufus Wainwright has released a studio performance of Judy Garland’s “Over the Rainbow,” to be featured in the upcoming virtual concert Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios. The show will be a virtual revisit of his 2006-2007 live tribute to Garland, Rufus Does Judy at Carnegie Hall.
Renée Zellweger, who won an Oscar for her portrayal of Garland in the 2019 biopic Judy, can be seen in the clip applauding after Wainwright’s performance. Zellweger will be appearing as the sole “micro-audience” member during the entire virtual concert, which will be hosted on Thursday, June 10th, at 8:00 p.m. EST, in honor of what would have been Garland’s 99th birthday. Wainwright will also be performing several songs with Tony and Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth, as well as his sister Martha Wainwright.
“I was about five years old when I started singing ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow,'” Wainwright said in a statement. “My mom would occasionally wake me up in the middle of the night and make me sing the song to guests to end the party. They would feel so bad that the kid was still up that late at night and leave. Much later, she accompanied me on the piano at Carnegie Hall, the Palladium, the Olympia and the Hollywood Bowl during the Rufus Does Judy shows in 2006 and 2007. After she passed away, I am only doing the beginning lines of the song a cappella without any piano accompaniment as an honor and memory to her and the hole she has left behind.”
He continued: “It has a deeply personal meaning to me to sing this song. I think my mom and I singing that song together was also her finally acknowledging my homosexuality with which she struggled for a long time. I am sure that similarly to my experience this song means a lot to LGBTQ folks young and old and their struggles with coming out and living a proud queer life.”
Tickets for Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios are available now exclusively via Veeps, priced at $30 for advance tickets and $35 for day-of-show. Ticket bundles that include a Q&A with Wainwright are also available. All ticket buyers will have access to an exclusive behind-the-scenes film, Inside the Red Ruby Slippers – Backstage with Rufus Does Judy at Capitol Studios.